Thursday, March 14, 2013

Botany picture #47: Catalpa

Inflorescence of a Catalpa (Bignoniaceae) in the Botanic Garden of Göttingen, Germany, 2004. Bignoniaceae are a family of mostly tropical to subtropical woody plants - trees, lianas or shrubs. They are often quite stunning, with some trees in dry tropical areas covered in massive displays of flowers even while leafless in the dry season. Obviously, many species are ornamentals such as this one.

I still fondly remember how exasperated our Swiss plant anatomy lecturer was when she was asked by some tourists whether the tree depicted in this photograph was an orchid. I mean, it stands to reason, doesn't it? Pretty flower = orchid, that's all the botanical knowledge one needs, durr...

Unfortunately, another equally pretty Catalpa tree in the same botanic garden was knocked over by a storm around the same time (2005?), right towards the botanical institute, and the branches smashed several windows.

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